KORN FERRY TOUR FINALS
Air Force Captain Kyle Westmoreland earns first PGA TOUR card in dramatic fashion
September 04, 2022
By Kevin Prise , PGATOUR.COM
- September 04, 2022
- Kyle Westmoreland earned the 25th and final TOUR card via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Eligibility Points List. (James Gilbert/PGA TOUR)
NEWBURGH, Ind. – Kyle Westmoreland made birdie on his final hole of the Korn Ferry Tour season, but he wasn’t satisfied. Far from it. His 6-under total at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance set the stage for an intense two-hour waiting period to see if it would be enough for his first TOUR card via The Finals 25.
“I think I lost years of my life,” Westmoreland said. “I think I lost my hair. It’s the craziest situation you could imagine.”
Westmoreland served five-and-a-half years of active duty in the United States Air Force, largely as a finance officer, but no amount of number crunching could improve his position.
It came down to Westmoreland and Joey Garber for the final PGA TOUR card via the top 25 on the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Eligibility Points List, in the ninth and final iteration of The Finals 25.
Rugged yet picturesque Victoria National GC provided a fitting backdrop for the occasion, as several players including Eric Cole, Tano Goya, Nicolas Echavarria, Sam Stevens and Austin Eckroat cemented their first PGA TOUR card on a soggy Sunday in southern Indiana.
As the dust settled, one distinct scenario emerged. Joey Garber needed a three-way T12 or better to pass Westmoreland for the final spot on The Finals 25. Garber had authored a heroic rally after a double bogey at the par-4 14th hole Sunday, recording four consecutive closing birdies to move into the mix.
Garber ultimately finished in a five-way T12, and Westmoreland earned the final spot on The Finals 25, just 4.5 points clear of Westmoreland.
“Joey Garber played so well down the stretch, such a great finish after making a double,” Westmoreland reflected in the gloaming Sunday evening. “If it went the other way, I would’ve been happy for him … but I’m happy to be on this side of it. Happy to be a member of the PGA TOUR.”
"Go Air Force. Beat Army, Sink Navy."@Kyle_West_ played collegiality @AF_Golf and completed a five-year service commitment in the @USAirForce before pursuing professional golf.— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) September 5, 2022
He's the first Air Force Academy graduate to earn a @PGATOUR card. pic.twitter.com/eJz7j544iB
The final day of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals has brought consistent drama throughout the nine Finals iterations, with a three-event points list (four events in the Finals’ early days) providing inherent volatility. Several spots can change hands across the final week; the fail-safe points total for a spot in The Finals 25 is kept cautious, as seemingly endless permutations are in play.
Westmoreland, 30, rebounded from a missed cut at the Finals-opening Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron with a tie for ninth at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship to enter the finale at 15th on The Finals 25. He finished T52 at Victoria National – as it turned out, just enough for his first TOUR card.
Westmoreland becomes the first Air Force Academy alum to earn a PGA TOUR card, and although he’s steadfast in his mentality that continued improvement will be required to succeed at the highest level, he’s grateful for the opportunity to represent the military on TOUR next season – and hopefully for seasons to come.
“It’s what you’ve been working for for so long,” said Westmoreland of earning a TOUR card. “For me, I knew I wanted to play on the PGA TOUR from my junior year of college. I had five years of waiting time … saw buddies I played with, played against, go to the PGA TOUR and do great things.
“To come out and finally make it, 10 years in the making, it means a lot. We took a roundabout way to get there, but we’re there.”
The 25 PGA TOUR Card Ceremony at Korn Ferry Tour Championship
Through two of three Finals events, eight players crossed the fail-safe threshold of 210 points to secure a spot in The Finals 25.
The final 17 TOUR cards were awarded Sunday afternoon in a festive ceremony against a technicolor sunset at Victoria National.
Here’s a look at the 25 players who earned 2022-23 PGA TOUR status in the Korn Ferry Tour graduate category via The Finals 25, in the ninth and final iteration of this Finals format.
Here’s a look at who moved in and out of The Finals 25 this week at Victoria National GC …
Austin Eckroat (moved from T64 to No. 3)
Eric Cole (moved from No. 44 to No. 7)
Ryan Armour (moved from T30 to No. 13)
Brent Grant (moved from No. 29 to No. 15)
Tano Goya (moved from No. 59 to No. 19)
Nicolas Echavarria (moved from No. 71 to No. 20)
Sam Stevens (moved from T36 to No. 21)
Hurly Long (moved from T21 to No. 27)
Patrick Fishburn (moved from No. 24 to No. 28)
Satoshi Kodaira (moved from T16 to No. 29)
Sean O’Hair (moved from T21 to No. 30)
Norman Xiong (moved from T19 to No. 32)
William McGirt (moved from No. 20 to No. 33)
Seung-Yul Noh (moved from T21 to No. 35)
Chris Gotterup (moved from T25 to T39)